Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill bid for Portas Pilot status

Lewisham Council is supporting a bid by community groups in Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill to secure funding from the Portas Pilot pot, intended to regenerate local high streets across the country. Following the review by Mary Portas, which explored how local high streets might be regenerated, £1.5m has been made available for 15 projects across the country and a further £300,000 has been committed by the Mayor of London to support three London projects.

Here's the bid video:

This bid includes plans to create two community hubs in high street shops renovated for exhibitions, business workshops and creative community engagement; the letting of 12 vacant units to a mix of businesses and organisations as part of a large scale ‘pop-up’ project; and the initiation of a series of subsidised pilot markets with incentives for local traders across Sydenham, Kirkdale and Forest Hill.

The successful bids will be selected at the end of this month.


kolp said...

I wish them the best of the luck with this. Sydenham especially could benefit, as the vibrancy of its high street has most markedly depleted in the last ten years. The cause of which I heard attributed to the massive Sainsbury's at Bell Green.

With Forest Hill I'd agree they've got a lot of 'make it happen' people living there and it feels like "It"; revitalisation is already happening... in terms of the arrival of Canvas & Cream, From the Hill, the Overground the Horniman Museum refurb and the influx of people because of the new flats by the station.

So let's hope that the Portas Pilot gives these places the extra push they need!

Anonymous said...

Brockley needs this more than Forest Hill!

kolp said...

I don't think Brockley does to be honest, I don't even think Forest Hill really needs it but hope they get it as extra money and support with speed the already ongoing process up.

Michael_FH said...

One of the nice aspects of the 2nd funding bid is that it includes matched funding from the next phase of the Bell Green development which will provide £100k for Forest Hill and Sydenham Town Centres.

But Bell Green is scheduled to become a larger retail centre putting more pressure on the local high streets.

Forest Hill has improved massively in the last few years, but there are still many empty shops and poor quality streetscape that has not been improved significantly for 20-30 years.

Sydenham Gateway will make some improvements to this high street, but the challenge around the South Circular is even bigger.

Michael_FH said...

Great news, the bid was successful.

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